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Enabling the Business of Agriculture


Enabling the Business of Agriculture presents indicators that measure the laws, regulations and bureaucratic processes that affect farmers in 101 countries. The eight core indicators are: supplying seed, registering fertilizer, securing water, registering machinery, sustaining livestock, protecting plant health, trading food and accessing finance.

Data Collection

The project collects data through questionnaires. Indicator-specific experts in each country fill out questionnaires, sharing their knowledge of relevant regulatory frameworks and administrative processes. These specialists are identified through desk research as well as through collaboration with the World Bank Group’s agriculture experts. For this report, questionnaires were administered to more than 4,000 respondents from law firms, private businesses, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and universities. In addition to the questionnaires, the team engaged with agriculture experts in several rounds of interaction by email, conference calls and in-person meetings. The team visited eight countries to verify the data and observe regulatory processes on the ground. Detailed information about the local experts who contributed to this year’s study is available on the Stakeholders page of this website.

Once the data are collected, the team analyzes the information in conjunction with publicly available data on agency websites as well as texts of relevant laws and regulations in force as of June 30, 2018.

To allow for cross-country comparability, the team collects data in a standardized way. A universal set of assumptions about a domestic farmer growing crops and cattle was applied as follows:

  • The farmer lives within 100 kilometers of the largest business city in the country. 
  • She owns and farms less than 5 hectares of land.
  • On 90% of her land, she grows a single crop to sell.
  • In the remaining part of her land, she grows a mix of crops to feed her family.

In addition, each indicator employs several specific assumptions about the type of seed used by farmers, their water uses, and so on.